Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the importance of exercise - A month in review

So over the course of September I lost a grand total of 3.4 pounds.  That is about what weight watchers wants you to lose.  So why did I lose them.  I certainly was not because of my stellar eating habits.  While they were not bad, they were not great either.  I do not anticipate them improving until after the first of the year.  As I have mentioned football season is upon us and there is serious tailgating to be done.  So how did I lose the weight this month???

I will tell you.  I ran 40.3 miles in September.  I burned an estimated 9652 calories.  So what does that tell me.  It tells me that I burned enough calories running to create a calorie deficit to allow me to lose some weight.  Somewhat plain and simple.  If I lost 3 pounds I would have had to create a deficit of 10500 calories.  I did the mostly with exercise.  More to the point if I had not got in the exercise my loss would have been pathetic.  Now I should probably factor in tomorrows weigh in and if I gain I will.  But I think is is important to remember from time to time we overcomplicate this whole battle. 

The battle breaks down this way.  You have a Basal Metabolic Rate.  This the number of calories you burn at rest over the course of a day.  Mine is 2631, you can find yours here.  So basically that is my jumping off point.  If I want to sit on my butt all day I can only take in those 2631 cals and maintain my weight.  So if I want to lose I have to create a calorie deficit.  So I do it by running.  You could do it by walking or biking or dancing or whatever makes you happy.  The point is that you have to create that calorie deficit.  Doing on diet alone is very difficult.  So get moving y'all.

I did want to comment quickly on running.  I would have never thought I would feel ready for a 5k race.  at this point I feel like I probably could have trained for a 10k but let not put the cart before the horse.  I am completely ready to roll on this 5k.  I ran 40 miles in September.  I will easily eclipse that in October and hope to maintain through the winter.  I still look at that number of 40 miles and shake my head.  I thought I was destined to be the guy who could never run a mile at one time.  Now I am trying to get faster while running 3 miles at a time and from time to time more.


Kathy said...

Terrific! And a good strategy since I don't take you for a "lettuce leaf" kinda guy!

new*me said...

it's hard when your body goes to losing slower.......I am trying to make peace with that now after a pretty fast 63 lbs. Now, it's saying........slow down woman....I want some of that fat!

Craig said...

Wow, 40 miles of running. I am still impressed. I agree 100% on the importance of exercise. People can create a caloric deficit by eating less or by exercising more. Personally, I like to eat a little more and exercise a lot more. It seems to keep the metabolism up more.

Andrew is getting fit said...

Way to go Matt. I still remember the thrill of being able to do my first 5K run, never mind my first 5K race.

My mantra nowadays is move more, eat less.